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The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has clarified its stance on the possible return of Kevin Pietersen, saying “nothing has changed” despite comments made by new chairman Colin Graves.
In an interview on Sunday, Graves appeared to open the door for Pietersen to make an England comeback but made it clear that the 34-year-old must make a return to County cricket to be considered for the Test squad.
An ECB spokesperson told Press Association players would only be selected if seen as a “positive influence” on the side – a thinly veiled dig at the controversial batsman.
“Colin Graves is correct. Nothing has changed – only players who are playing consistent high-quality county cricket and who are seen as a positive influence will be selected for England,” the spokesperson said.
Pietersen was sacked by ECB in the washup of England’s 5-0 Ashes defeat during the 2013-14 summer, but has since been in good form with the bat in the Big Bash League in Australia.
The South African-born star would need to curtail plans to play in both the Indian and Caribbean T20 Premier League’s to make room for the red-ball game.